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 How to create a Blog Entry

Find user stories of interesting ideas and solutions in this blog.
Note: The Makers Blog shows applications and user stories of community members that are not tested or reviewed by Phoenix Contact.

For questions, please go to the FORUM section and create a new entry there.

Want to add your own solution here? Just login as a registered user and click the "Create Blog entry" button. Find a short intro video by clicking the "How to create a blog entry" button. If you experience any problems with editing or publishing please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How to access the PLCnext web server (HTTP) remotely using IXON Cloud

IXON developed Cloud Access so you can easily access your machine's HTTP(S) server without requiring a VPN connection. This enables you to access your machine's servers on any mobile and desktop device with an internet connection.

Access and control the PLCnext webserver directly and securely from your browser. No additional software needed. Because it runs via IXON's worldwide VPN network, a speedy and seamless connection is guaranteed.

Written by: Damian Bombeeck
Date: 10 januari 2020


In this tutorial I will show you how to connect to- and use a cloud-based database while on your PLCnext AXCF 2152 controller. We will use Microsoft Azure as the cloud-service provider and perform queries using HTTP requests. These requests will be performed in a thread so they won’t affect the real-time system. I’ll go through the different steps to take and explain why these steps are needed, furthermore I’ll include all used code and the side-notes concerning the use of Azure with PLCnext and HTTP requests in general. The tutorial is mainly focused on C++, IEC61131-3, JSON and SQL and will not include languages as C#, python or Java.

based on Node.js® Azure SDK

Contribution and the complete source code at

This is a work from our PLCnext team from the Phoenix Contact USA headquarters. Please reach out to us if you have any additional questions. Special thanks to the members of this project, Daniel Clark, Jake Kustan, Grant Vandebrake and Kaitlyn Maass.


How to log data from PLCnext to IXON Cloud

The data logging feature from IXON Cloud lets you log data securely from the PLCnext device to the IXON Cloud. It collects, prepares, transmits and stores data using a secure MQTT connecting automatically from the PLCnext device to the IXON Cloud platform. Just define the parameters you want to log and the interval when (log on interval, log on change, or log on trigger).

The gathered data can be used for further analysis and optimisation of your system or processes. Use it to send alarms (like when an emergency button is pressed or production line stops) or compose your data dashboards. These additional features are available in your IXON Cloud portal.

The following functionality is based on the Alarms Dispatcher in PLCnext Technology.
It enables you to send alarms to other applications running on your PLCnext Control, whether it be a C++, Simulink®, IEC 61131-3 or an embedded OPC UA Server application.
I will explain some easy examples to make you familiar with this technology.

For more information about this topic: PLCnext Technology Info Center - Service Components - OPC UA Server

This Makers blog shows a way to communicate Bacnet MSTP devices from Emalytics to the PLCnext platform.

As this is a serial protocol and the ILC 2050 BI has as first IO channel onboard 2x serial ports, the port 1 is used in this example (=COM1).

First of all Open the Emalytics workbench -> go to your station->config-> drivers and add from the Palette the BacnetNetwork by drag and drop.

Following on my previous blog "Datalogging in IEC 61131-3: The basic principle", I want to show you something extra.
To read and write data, you only need to implement some basic commands.

In this blog, we are going to create the following methods:

  • Create a file
  • Create a file and directly write a header line
  • Delete a file
  • Read a line
  • Write a line

Please note that some extra error handling is needed for real life applications.

If you are interested in the complete PLCnext Engineer project, just let me know. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

How to enable remote VPN access for PLCnext using IXON Cloud

About 90 percent of operating problems faced by engineers can be solved by remote access to the control system. With remote access, you can remotely troubleshoot and program your PLCnext controller. 

A prerequisite for remote access is that machines can be accessed from the internet in a secure way. After all, nobody wants to undermine the security or daily operations of the parties involved.


On the PLC, the file /etc/plcnext/Device.acf.settings contains a list of environment variables and their default values. Some of these environment variables are used to enable/disable various system services on the PLC.

It is possible to change the values of these environment variables, but this should not be done by editing this (or any other) system configuration file.

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